Little Old Schoolhouse Chair Gets a Modern Update

26 Mar

I just finished updating this sweet little schoolhouse chair as a gift for my mom. She acquired it from the university where she retired, and has been using it as a desk chair. I was thrilled when she asked me to give her chair a new “do”, and told me to surprise her with the color!

BEFORE:

Mom's Schoolhouse Chair

AFTER:

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This chair is probably close to (or more than) 100 years old. The finish was not in great condition, and the structure was a little rickety. Hubsters reinforced the chair (thanks, Honey!), so it’s now much sturdier than it was.

As with some of my previous furniture projects, such as this antique vanity bench, vintage hexagonal table, and little red chair, I sanded with 180 grit sandpaper to even out the surface. After sanding and cleaning, I applied Kilz oil-based spray primer.

A note about using Kilz – it can be a bit gritty, especially in warmer weather. I just use a 220 grit sanding sponge to lightly smooth the surface after priming and before my first coat of paint.

Ahhhh….I just love the fresh, clean slate that primer provides:

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I think I’ve found a new favorite spray paint: Rustoleum Painter’s Touch. It is soooooo easy to work with, and I found that the paint did not run as much as Krylon has for me in the past. It also costs much less per can than Krylon, and provides amazing coverage. I applied three solid coats, and I only used one can of spray paint!

For my mom’s chair, I chose the color “Seaside”. Here it is after three coats of paint:

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Then I performed a clean-glazing technique with Tobacco glaze by Ralph Lauren. I began by applying some heavy glaze with inexpensive chip brushes, and then wiped it off with wet rags. I carefully worked the glaze into all of the cracks and crevices. Glazing tones down the vividness of a piece, and accentuates wood grain and blemishes, providing a distressed look with lots of character.

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Here are some of my favorite shots of the final result!

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Well, Mom, I’m delighted with this fun little makeover, and I hope you are too!

Thanks for stopping by today,

Roasted Garlic Potato Slices – Better Than Fries (Almost)!

3 Feb

Roasted Garlic Potato Slices

I had more yukon gold potatoes than I knew what to do with after making faux veal stew (I used turkey tenderloin in place of veal). I figured it couldn’t hurt to try roasted potato slices, since I frequently roast asparagus as a side dish, and make my own fresh pasta sauce with roasted tomatoes.

During dinner, Hubsters exclaimed: “I hope you’re planning to blog about these – they’re amazing!”

And my 3 year-old emphatically stated that we should have garlic potato slices for dinner every night.

What’s the magic ingredient?

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DIY Pallet Headboard

13 Jan

My friend Lori is a brilliant DIY-er and she made this amazing headboard out of wooden pallets. Lori agreed to let me feature her work on the blog today – just for you!

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There are actually two pallets here – joined together by metal brackets. Lori and her husband found them at a construction site in their neighborhood and brought them home to create something amazing!

There were only two colors used, both Rustoleum products: one coat of Colonial Red paint applied with a brush, followed by one coat of Kona stain:

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The stain was applied with a rag and then the surface was wiped down with a clean rag, which is sort of a “dry-glazing” technique, but with rags instead of brushes. For more tips on how to glaze furniture, visit this post.

The last step was to apply a heavy grit sandpaper to give the piece a weathered-looking finish:

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Spicy Carrot Detox Refresher

30 Dec

Spicy Carrot Detox Blend

This energizing raw juice blend has loads of detoxifying health benefits and is super easy to prepare. I feel amazing for the entire day after drinking it, and find myself craving more of this refreshing cocktail.

Spicy Carrot Detox Recipe

Blend the following ingredients in a blender on high for approximately one minute:

–1 cup water (add ice cubes if you want a cold beverage)

–1 medium apple, sliced

–2-3 raw medium carrots, green stems removed

–1 large celery stalk, roughly chopped

–Juice from 1/2 of a lime

–1/2 medium banana (I used frozen, which I try to keep on hand)

–Small chunk of fresh ginger root, ~1/2 in

Optional: sweeten it up with honey or agave

Makes ~ one 16 oz. beverage

Note: Most juicers recommend drinking fresh juice at room temperature. You can make a colder version of this drink by simply adding ice (which will also thicken it up slightly).

Looking for more refreshing beverage recipes? Click here.

Thanks for stopping by today, and here’s to your health in the new year!

Kid’s DIY Treasure Box

9 Dec

Recently my son had a friend over and they made these darling treasure boxes (with only the tiniest bit of “Mom” help):

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My little guy loves to paint – I wonder where he gets that from?

So, we dug through my stash and found two small wooden boxes, along with some fabric scraps, and 2 oz. bottles of acrylic paint.

Perfect.

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All of these supplies were purchased at craft stores – the wooden boxes were 99 cents!

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Holiday Recipe Roundup: One Main Dish, Three Easy Sides, and a Gluten-Free Dessert

25 Nov

I’m definitely a last-minute grocery shopper that hits the store the day before Thanksgiving. I like everything to be super fresh – that’s my excuse, anyway.

If you’re a last-minute shopper, too, and you need some ideas fast for delicious holiday fare, then this post is for you!

I’ve rounded up five of my favorite recipes that are always crowd-pleasing hits and super easy to prepare:

DESSERT FIRST

Gluten-Free Almond Pear Bread – I made this (amazing) dessert bread last year after my son decided he really didn’t want to eat the two dozen fresh pears he begged me to purchase at Costco.

This bread was so delicious that I ended up making several batches for friends and neighbors. I promise you can’t tell it’s gluten free.

Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

(Amazing) Gluten Free Almond Pear Bread

(Amazing) Gluten Free Almond Pear Bread

ONE MAIN DISH

Aunt Pat’s Chicken – this dish makes the kitchen smell amazing, allows you to mingle with your guests, and is perfect for entertaining any day of the year.

Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

Aunt Pat's Chicken

THREE EASY SIDES

Sweet Potatoes – super fast twist on a traditional classic. Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

Super Fast Sweet Potatoes

Super Fast Sweet Potatoes

Perfect Asparagus Every Time – add a little green to your holiday. Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

Perfect Asparagus Every Time

Perfect Asparagus Every Time

The Only Salad You’ll Ever Need to Make – this salad is a big hit – every time. I’m often asked,  “would you mind bringing that salad that you make?” when invited to a dinner gathering.

Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

The simple toss of a few ingredients in a light olive oil dressing will cause your guests to rave!

The simple toss of a few ingredients in a light olive oil dressing will cause your guests to rave!

What are some of your go-to recipes this holiday season? I read every comment and love hearing from you!

Thanks for stopping by today,

DIY Furniture Transformation with Homemade Chalk Paint

18 Nov

Here’s an after photo of one of my recently completed chalk paint tables:

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And some before photos:

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A few dings and scratches here and there.

We were gifted two over-sized nightstands last summer as part of a beautiful bedroom set.

They were made of mahogany wood and in great shape overall, except for a few small dings and scratches that had been acquired through the years.

Although I liked the overall shape, I thought that both the finish and the hardware made the nightstands look dated. I’m not a huge fan of the Chippendale style drawer pulls.

I wanted to try something different than spray paint this time, so I searched Pinterest for ideas on furniture refinishing.  It seems that nearly every piece I saw that I really, really liked had been refinished with chalk paint.

Not chalkboard paint, but chalk paint.

The appeal of chalk paint is that there is no sanding or priming needed to prepare your surface for painting – you just start painting!

After the amount of sanding and priming that went into this vintage hexagonal table,  this antique vanity bench, and my son’s vintage red chair, I was ready to try a different painting technique.

I was sold on the concept of chalk paint, so I went in search of where to buy it. I quickly discovered that brand-name chalk paint is super expensive!!! At $35-40 per quart, I did not want to “experiment” with it on my free furniture!

After researching homemade chalk paint, I found several on-line recipes and decided on one using calcium carbonate and latex paint. I chose calcium carbonate because it’s the safest to eat of all the ingredients used to make other chalk paint recipes. I mean, who wants to eat un-sanded grout for breakfast!

I tried several different formulas on sample wood and found that I like this recipe the best:

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